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MWH YPG Grand ChallengeLaying a New Foundation for the Future 

Our people are our greatest asset. We understand the importance of leveraging the energy and innovative minds of our young professionals while maintaining the wisdom of our more seasoned professionals to provide the best service to our clients. That’s why more than two decades ago, MWH, now part of Stantec, created the Young Professionals Group (YPG) to provide leadership, technical and professional development, and networking opportunities within the company. Since its inception, the group has developed through the planning and actions of young staff and has spread to global offices through a grass roots development approach. Today the group is comprised of 600 team members in 70 offices representing 10 countries.

How does YPG work?

YPG is not a formal program or organization.  It is a distributed network that provides a pathway for YPs to engage with the company and demonstrate leadership outside of project work.  Our basic leadership structure and chapter organization gives legitimacy to projects like the YP exchange (see below), while maintaining the organic, volunteer nature of the group.  Although YPG has some signature programs, most activities are planned and executed on a local level, without centralized funding or leadership.  As a distributed network however, YPG has four basic pillars that we enable and encourage our members to embrace.  These are:

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Connect Young Professionals to their peers

Connect Young Professionals with senior staff

Connect Young Professionals with development opportunities

Connect Young Professionals with our communities

Check us out on The Muse to learn more about our U.S. offices, culture, and career opportunities.

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Megan Couture is Appointed MWH Global YPG Leader

MWH Megan Couture

I’m honored to have recently been chosen to lead as the new Global Leader of the Young Professionals Group. This is an exciting time for the group, as our integration with Stantec offers us the opportunity to reconnect, refresh and re-engage. I look forward to continuing the legacy of advocacy for Young Professionals throughout the business, and connecting them with each other, senior leadership, our communities as well as professional development opportunities.

Megan Couture

Global YPG Leader


YP Exchange Program

In continuation of the YPG mission to connect Young Professionals (YPs) to each other, leadership, professional development opportunities, and communities, we have implemented the “YP Exchange” program which creates an experience where YPs learn from top subject matter experts through face to face trips. On these exchanges, YP’s are given the opportunity to discuss the direction of the industry, meet clients on site tours, and connect with each other and the local office.  We want to provide YPs with an unforgettable educational experience with like-minded colleagues that energizes them about working for MWH. Below find featured stories about the experiences from our YP Exchange Program participants:

Chengyan Zhangn: Jakarta, Indonesia

MWH Chengyan Zhangn YPExchangeConsultant Chengyan Zhangn traveled from Washington, D.C. to Jakarta, Indonesia to support capacity building and knowledge transfer for Indonesia Public Works. “It is eye-opening to finally connect desktop calculations and designs with real life operations that are performed in a challenging/not so perfect environment…it reminded me the importance of keeping operations in mind while designing and selecting appropriate technologies,” says Chengyan.

Aaron Anderson: New Orleans, Louisiana

MWH Aaron Anderson YPExchangeConstruction Manager Aaron Anderson traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana along with 4 other young professionals to dive into our Coastal Restoration and Resilience practice. While there he visited the West Closure Complex (largest pump station in the world), Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier and new Permanent Pump Stations on Lake Pontchartrain, and the sites where system failures occurred during Hurricane Katrina and the neighborhoods (Lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish) that suffered the consequences of those failures. “Through the young professionals exchange program, myself and several colleagues had the privilege to tour some of the largest pump station facilities and coastal barrier walls in the world…Our team of young engineers were able to speak to experts in the field of coastal restoration/resilience to better understand how to approach some of the most complex engineering problems we may face as a result of climate change and natural disasters,” says Aaron. This exchange left such a lasting impact on Aaron that he reached out to our team in Argentina while on vacation in Buenos Aires. He was curious about what other challenges we were tackling around the world, and was subsequently able to get a first-hand look at the hydropower projects and fish elevator they are working on in the country.

Alastair Carrigan: Cleveland, Ohio

MWH Alastair_Isabelle_Cleveland_AUNews

What would motivate you to move to the other side of the globe? From the land down under to the land of the free, mechanical engineer Alastair Carrigan moved from Brisbane, Australia to Cleveland, Ohio USA to pursue his dream of working and living abroad. Having had a brief taste with stints in New Zealand and India, he worked behind the scenes to make a move further broad out of the southern hemisphere to the USA.

When asked what to use a six-word story to describe his experience he came up with “Americans struggle to understand my name”. While Americans may struggle to understand his name, Alastair has been able to make the most of the exchange from personal and professional perspectives without putting his career on hold.

 

Read the full interview